I've had a pretty interesting week which ended with last week's giant, Friday stock market rally brought on by Japan's announcement that they were going to further debase their currency and buy one half a trillion worth of American equities. More or less. So the bankers decided to front run those eventual purchases by the Japanese- by buying on Friday. The QE shit show that never ends.
I read a snarky Forbes piece about what a great deal Obamacare is this morning. It sure is- as long as you are subsidized by taxpayers. Unsubsidized people like myself are faced with 8000 dollars worth of annual insurance costs which approximate my mortgage or about 17% of my after tax income. (500 x12 mo with a 2k deductible)
On to the topic du jour.
When I was a child and later a young man, there was a sense of optimism in our lives. I knew and my friends knew- that if you worked hard and made wise decisions you could accumulate a small fortune and have a good life. We took for granted that our system of laws protected us. Who thought that laws actually protected our way of life- the kids of the 60s and 70s?
Do today's kids think like that?
Several weeks ago, I had a reader write and ask that I write a little bit about the damage inflicted upon us by lawyers and lawyer legislators. It goes something like this. Legislators, state and federal, are forever creating new laws. All this new law gets implemented and then the fallout takes place. In our system many of us assume that good laws are kept and that bad laws are somehow thrown out.
Lawyers create laws, they steward the law, and they make legal decisions regarding the law. If they adhere to simple principles regarding the law- such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights- then things would work fine. When lawyers deviate from freedom guided principles and begin to authorize let's say- politically motivated laws or laws designed to unreasonably seize citizen assets- then the system starts to break down.
In a nutshell, it's really hard to support any person, groups of persons, or any other institution which is seizing or really- just simply stealing your assets through the force of bad law. People who extort money from others used to be called thieves. These days we refer to them as government.
Even the most staunch libertarian like myself believes in the necessity of government for the safety and protection of our citizens. I am more than happy to pay taxes and fund our national defense (not offense) for agencies like the FCC and the FDA, and any number of other alphabet agencies that protect our citizens.
Where I get crazy is when government starts stealing my money for home loans, student loans, TARP programs, cell phones, medical insurance, bond interest, or any number of other programs ranging from ridiculous grants to farm subsidies where farmers are paid not to grow crops. All of this garbage has nothing to do with the PRIMARY job description of government. The safety and protection of our citizens.
Or more succinctly from Publius Huldah- a true constitutional scholar- comes the following:
The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:
“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.”
So our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).
So law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.
So how do all of these bad laws come about and stay? Could it be as simple as legislators who create law and who are often lawyers, lawyers who steward these laws once created, and judges who are lawyers and make decisions regarding these laws?
Of course. Let me give you one little example.
Lawyers blew it and I do in fact lay the blame at their doorstep. In fact, in a very simplistic way, John Roberts of the Supreme Court while casting the tie breaking vote could have ended Obamacare dead in it's tracks. Instead, Roberts threw out any rationale regarding the 4th amendment and authorized the greatest asset seizure and forfeiture in American history. Say that again. The greatest asset forfeiture in American history.
What did Roberts, a lawyer and judge, steal from me?
Roberts stole my liberty and freedom to choose how to live and direct my life. He seized my work product without due process and apparently suspended the 4th amendment- which is supposed to protect me against unreasonable seizure. In short, Roberts stole my freedom, my rights as a human being, and ultimately my money. I don't see things any differently than if my government ordered me to buy satellite television because my participation would allegedly keep the costs of TV watching down for everyone else. Roberts could have stopped all of this stupid shit. But he didn't because he is a fallible, human being who's credentials far exceed his common sense.
When I was a child, that law would have never been written- let alone passed and upheld by a room full of Harvard jurists. Not in my wildest dreams have I ever seen a finer example of socialism in a country that once detested socialism as the graveyard of dead republics.
In a few months I am going to have to file my taxes and I am completely angered by the fact that I must pay a penalty for a service that I didn't want, didn't ask for, and can't afford anyway. This, in the land of the free.
What a joke that is. It didn't use to be that way.
I suppose that's how a great republic declines. It abandons the concepts and principles that once made it great. It's an entirely odd concept to think that embracing freedom, capitalism, and a rule of law meant everyone participated on a level playing field maintained by our country's jurists.
Today we embrace statism, socialism, and we ignore the rule of law- choosing to let mob rule democracy decide who can keep what. Our jurists are largely missing now, their bad decisions now setting bad judicial precedent which will form a foundation for the laws that will surely follow. Soon the mob will find ways to take more and more wealth from the people who possess it- making it a criminal act to possess something they want- like Russian wheat farmers under Stalin.
Why would anyone produce anything if they knew they would have to surrender it to the state? Isn't that the essence of socialism or communism?
You can't keep seizing the assets of our hard workers and give them to the non workers. This is how you take a well run country that embraced the concepts of freedom, the rule of law, and ruin it. By stealing the property of hard working and innovative Americans and delivering it to couch potatoes and deadbeats by passing terrible law- you most assuredly will steal the motivation of the best and brightest in America.
That's why today, we have become "also rans." In virtually any category, from birth to death rates to tax rates- we have dropped dramatically. We no longer sit at the top of anything except the amount of money we spend on our military and our 18 trillion dollar debt. And our costs for health care. I laugh when people still maintain that we have the best health care (certainly the most expensive and wasteful, we win that hands down) and I run across those statements from time to time. Let's just say the World Health Organization disagrees.
The laws of this country violate the tenets of the 4th amendment which was designed to prevent unreasonable searches and most importantly- seizures. Those unreasonable seizures are destroying our way of life. They cannot be allowed to continue or we most assuredly will become a second world country. The truth is- we have probably already arrived at that destination.
As a child I never thought I'd live to see these days. We took our way of life for granted back then and they stole it from us. Sometimes when people steal your shit- you have to steal it back. Sometimes a lot of people get jailed and a lot more get killed. History teaches that lesson over and over again. You'd think at some point- we'd pay attention.